Read Dr. Homa Katouzian’s spot-on introduction to Sadeq Hedayat’s The Blind Owl, Iran’s most revered novel and a legend of psycho-fiction. Hedayat’s Ivory Tower: Structural Analysis of The Blind Owl. A working In an effort to understand the works of Sadeq Hedayat better; in fact, to gain an. Indeed The Blind Owl barely needs introducing—it’s the most famous Persian novel in Iran and the West (U.S. and Europe), and Hedayat is.
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It inspired me to write to him and ask how he came about discovering this book. Tulaylay under the title Bulag na Kuwago. If only oblivion were attainable, if it could last forever, if my eyes as they closed could gently transcend sleep and dissolve into non-being and I should lose consciousness of my existence for all time to come, if it were possible for my being to dissolve in one drop of ink, in one bar of music, in one ray of colored light, and then these waves and forms were to grow and grow to such infinite size that in the end they faded and disappeared — then I should have attained my desire.
Written in Persianit tells the story of an unnamed pen case painter, the narrator, who sees in his macabre, feverish nightmares that “the presence of death annihilates all that is imaginary.
But I was not going to get it, not for a while. Tellingly, the narrator is not even sure who his father is — his father or his uncle — and, similarly, his wife a woman who is his foster-sister, and whom he winds up marrying in large part because of her resemblance to his aunt though he is, in fact “forced to marry her” sleeps with many other men but not him, preventing any family and next generation from properly developing: And like these contradictions, so existed The Blind Owl, whose biggest challenge, one could assume, was that of audience—many Western literary references were lost on Iranian audiences and many Iranian folkloric descriptions were alien to Western readers, and yet the book held its place among both readerships.
Part of the agreement in setting on the journey of a truly hybridized work is accepting its polarities.
Perhaps the very prose, coupled with its fabled notoriety, has made it an essential literary hand-me-down in Iran. He was the Iranian nationalist who, fed up with the corruptions of church and state alike, was perpetually looking westward; he was also the foreigner in Europe, whose daily life was endless visa applications and intense economic hardship, whose eyes were cast to the comforts of his mother country where he was of the aristocracy.
December External links: Every few years the book hsdayat inevitably come up in conversation and I would prod, but still nothing but that same silence.
Much passes in a sort of distanced reverie: In Indiatwo translations appeared in the Malayalam language. What he concluded our exchange with interested me most, a sentiment absent from his seminal book: I had no idea in what direction I was going.
One of the aspects of The Blind Owl that kept it alive for me while working on my own novel—a truly hyphenate work in that it is equally Iranian and American—was that it felt like our first truly hyphenate work, Hedayat embodying the first true Iranian immigrant, a both reluctant and ecstatic pioneer of the West.
The Blind Owl
In Part II, there is no mention of him being an artist and instead he is the confessor, a writer telling his story to, we can assume, save whatever is left of his sanity. Mahmud Saba Kashani — We are the offspring of death and death delivers us from the tantalizing, fraudulent attractions of life; it is death that beckons us from the depths of life.
And what is more life-affirming than that? I thought about announcing anemically at dinner that after fifteen years of wondering, I finally knew.
This, I think, is the key to appreciating the nightmare-scape of The Blind Owl, once you piece its puzzles, catch on to its games, and read by its rules.
The Blind Owl (Sadegh Hedayat) – book review
We had it all: The Blind Owl begins darkly: And here I am again, still wishing that on everyone who has yet to touch these pages. Contemporary Persian and Classical Persian are the same language, but writers since are classified as contemporary. The complete review ‘s Review:. A revised second edition came out in Was it simply the gore that made it unacceptable to the establishment?
The Blind Owl – Sadegh Hedayat
He was not a writer, of course, but he made one out of me. Law, by Naveed Noori  and by Iraj Bashiri Costello’s translation is a valiant and interesting effort, but it’s high time someone had another go at this if only to ol a completely different approach.
Kimberly Dark Swinging Modern Sounds The second, entitled Kurudan Kooman was translated by S. I had read it. The Blind Owl is well worth engaging with at length, evenbut anything but straightforward.
This was how Iran turned Western and fast, a headyat where Islamic traditionalism and Western modernization were at a tug-of-war. It is not an easy read and yet, against all odds, it is the bkind renowned literary work of twentieth-century Iran, unreadable to the masses, one would assume, with its opaque symbolism, corkscrewed coding, warped psychological landscape, and otherworldly thematics.
Have you read it? Without a clear ‘plot’ and often hallucinatory, The Blind Owl is also anything but a lucid text or story. If at times we come to a halt, we do so to hear the call of death Many of Hedayat’s short stories have also been translated into Urdu, mostly by Bazl-e-Haq Mahmood, who published one volume of his short stories as Sag-e-Awara Sag-e Vlind.
In reading it again and again over the years, I have become more and more immune to its horror and hedayxt and more ensorcelled by its masterfulness.
But what is ingenious hedaayt this simple set-up is all the multiples and recyclings and variations on not just a few finite themes but a few finite images.
It requires, at its very least, the herayat of multiple readings and, at its very most, conscientious code-breaking dissection. It was a seductive book even before I understood it. Periodically I would think about it and think about approaching it, but again, like something that had the power to kill or at least curse me, I stayed away. Do we have it? It was the most disturbing thing I had read and I had read many disturbing things by then; I was deeply attracted to them, in fact.
We have on one hand a Gothic romance narrative and on the other hand an expressionist whodunit allegory, both equally problematized by the innovative structure: Aida Vyasa and published by Dastan Books in But this made me feel sick hedayst days.